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   Welcome to TSLMail #305 - Friday, November 16, 2007    
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   Tech Sports News

Miami Excerpts, from the Book Hokie Games

Rich Tandler attended Virginia Tech in the mid 1970's and was immediately hooked on Hokie football. Rich has written the definitive history of the Virginia Tech program, from the standpoint that matters the most: what happened on the field.

The name of the book is Hokie Games, and it recounts the score and key plays from every Virginia Tech football game played from the start of the 1945 season through the last game of the 2006 season. You can get old scores anywhere, but Hokie Games gives you the flow of the action and the important moments and players, not just a line with point totals and a date on it.

From the Hokie Games web site: Hokie Games is the most complete book ever written about any college sports team, ever. The first Hokie game you ever watched? It's in there. Forgotten classics? Got 'em all. Learn about or relive the '72 game when Don Strock lit up Houston for 527 yards in the air or the 1966 VMI game when Tommy Francisco got into the end zone six times. Remember watching a great game with your kid or your dad? You can relive it. Are the details of the '99 thriller at West Virginia, the one that featured Vick's jaw-dropping run and Graham's clutch kick that kept the national title chances alive a little fuzzy? Hokie Games brings back every detail.


Rich Tandler is also making a special offer for TSL readers: order your copy now, and you'll get free shipping, and Rich will personally autograph your copy. To take advantage of this special offer, go to:

Note that when you're checking out, you need to enter the promo code "TSL" in the appropriate box.

Hokie Games is in stock, ready for shipping, and will arrive in 1-2 weeks, in plenty of time for Christmas for the Hokies on your list!

Now, on to the games ....

#21 Virginia Tech (3-0) 27, Miami (2-1) 20
September 19, 1998, Miami, Florida

By this time, beating Miami was almost becoming routine. This was the Hokies' fourth straight win over the 'Canes after going zero in their first 12 tries and one of the most exciting games ever in the series.

Orange Bowl-- Ricky Hall caught a 24-yard touchdown pass from Al Clark to give Virginia Tech a 27-20 overtime win over Miami.

The win, Tech's fourth straight over the Hurricanes after the Hokies had dropped the first 12 in the all-time series, was sealed after back-to-back sacks of Miami quarterback Scott Covington set up a fourth-down incompletion on a deflected pass. Cory Moore got to Covington first and then he split credit for the second sack with fellow end John Engelberger.

This was a taut, back-and-forth contest throughout. In the first quarter Covington tossed a perfect deep ball to Santana Moss, who had beaten cornerback Anthony Midget, for 54 yards and a 7-0 Hurricane lead. It was the first touchdown Tech had given up all year. After Tech responded with a field goal Tech gave up its second TD of the year. Covington capped a 73-yard drive with a 15-yard dart to end Reggie Wayne.

It was at that point that the game took a turn in the Hokies' direction. Engelberger blocked the extra point and Tech trailed 13-3. A few minutes later Covington fumbled a snap at his own 27 and defensive end Chris Cyrus made the recovery for the Hokies at the 26. Thirty seconds before the half, Clark was cool in the midst of tremendous pass pressure and found fullback Cullen Hawkins wide open for 14 yards and a touchdown. Shayne Graham booted the PAT and the Hurricane lead was cut to three at intermission.

Miami tried to give the game to Tech in the third quarter but the Hokies refused to take anything close to maximum advantage of the 'Canes' mistakes. Four times in the third quarter Miami turned the ball over, and only once did Virginia Tech manage to get any points off of the miscues.

The one score came after Keion Carpenter recovered a fumble at the Miami 17. Two plays later Clark looked for a receiver, pulled the ball down and scrambled 13 yards to put Tech ahead 17-13.

The Miami offense regained its footing in spectacular fashion in the early fourth quarter. Covington launched another bomb, this one to Wayne who hauled in the pass for 84 yards and a touchdown. The conversion put the Hurricanes back on top 20-17 with 14:44 left in regulation.

Graham tied the game at 20 midway through the final period with a 19-yard field goal. With eight seconds left Graham was wide right on a field goal that would have averted overtime. Instead the Hokies would have to prevail in their first-ever overtime game.

#10 Virginia Tech (10-2) 16, #9 Miami (8-3) 10

December 4, 2004, Miami, Florida

This is the win that gave the Hokies the ACC title in their first year in the league. The offense was spotty, the special teams had uncharacteristic breakdowns, but the Tech defense carried the day.

Orange Bowl-- Virginia Tech came to the ACC, saw it, and conquered it.

With their 16-10 upset victory over Miami, the Hokies won the ACC title outright in their first year in the conference. The title earned them a trip to the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans.

"This is a sweet as it gets and we are going to the Sugar Bowl, so it's going to get even sweeter," said Tech cornerback Eric Green.

The sugar rush the Hokies and all of their fans experienced was the result of Tech's stout, solid defense holding the Hurricanes under 31 points for just the third time all year.

"The defense --  it was special today," Tech coach Frank Beamer said.

"Hokie Games" Makes a
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TSL readers

On the other hand, the special teams were, well, not so special. Some uncharacteristic breakdowns in Tech's kicking game helped keep the Hurricanes in the game until the late going.

The Hokies broke out on top after a scoreless first quarter. Green picked off Brock Berlin's pass in the end zone, sparking a 10-play, 80-yard touchdown drive. Bryan Randall was sharp during the advance, completing all three of his passes including a three-yard toss to tight end Jeff King for the score.

Miami evened it up after a blocked punt set the 'Canes up at the Hokie 14 yard line. Four plays later, Frank Gore scored on a two-yard run to tie the game at 7-7 with 8:20 to go in the first half.

The teams exchanged field goals as the game settled back into a defensive struggle. Early in the fourth quarter, however, Tech struck suddenly to grab the lead. Eddie Royal returned a punt 18 yards to the Miami 39. On the very next play, Randall found Royal on a slant. The freshman receiver caught the pass in stride and streaked into the end zone. The Tech lead remained 16-10, however, as the point after was blocked.

The missed conversion caused some concern but, thanks to the Tech defense, there was never any high anxiety. The Hurricanes had three possessions after Royal's TD and none of them got any further than their own 32.


#21 Virginia Tech (8-1) 21, #18 Miami (6-3) 7
November 16, 1996, Miami, Florida

This game ended the Hokies' 0-fer at the OB. It was the most significant win in a season that ended with Tech making an Orange Bowl appearance.

Orange Bowl-- Keion Carpenter returned an interception 100 yards for the clinching touchdown in Virginia Tech's 21-7 win over Miami.

It was Tech's first win in the Orange Bowl in eight tries. The Hokies are now 2-12 all time against the Hurricanes but the good part is that the two wins have come in their last two contests.

Carpenter certainly was not the game's only hero. Jim Druckenmiller threw for 202 yards and a touchdown. His 13-yard touchdown pass to receiver Michael Stuewe late in the third quarter gave the Hokies the lead that Carpenter sealed with his interception return.

Druckenmiller had his list of stellar performers as well. "The offensive line just did a great job of blocking for me," he said. "I was really proud of our goal-line defense today. That was really the key to the game."

Tech scored the first time it had the ball, moving 86 yards in 12 plays. On fourth and goal at the one the Hokies made an early statement by going for the touchdown. Ken Oxendine got in and Tech had a 7-0 lead.

Miami stormed right back. They took 12 plays to move 92 yards and Ryan Clement capped the drive with a two-yard touchdown pass to Chris Jones.

The teams' respective defenses took over the game after that. The only serious scoring threat in the second quarter came right at the end of it. The Hurricanes drove down to the Tech one and, out of timeouts, they had to take a penalty to stop the clock for a field goal try. Andy Crossland missed the 22-yard attempt as time in the half ran out.

The game remained tied at seven until Druckenmiller threw to Stuewe in the end zone. The receiver made a diving catch for the touchdown to give Tech a 14-7 lead with 4:10 left in the third quarter.

Again the defenses stiffened until Miami's final, desperate drive. Clement had been knocked out of the game in the third quarter and it was up to backup Scott Covington to tie up the game. On fourth and four at the eight, Convington threw over the middle to the goal line. Carpenter picked it off, headed to the right sideline and he was gone, as was the Hokies' 0-for at the Orange Bowl.

TSL Brings in Over $3,600 for MDA

This year's MDA Lockup was another big success, thanks to you, the TSL readers.  Despite the fact that we only promoted the Lockup event for one week, we raised over $3,600 for MDA, bringing our two-year total to almost $7,800!

Although the Lockup event itself is over -- it was held yesterday -- it's not too late to donate. It's very simple: just click on the link below to make a donation and help me get out of jail that day. Every dollar donated by TSL's readership through the link below will be collected together and credited to my "bail" ('s donation to the MDA) and will be used to help LOCAL MDA families. This particular lockup event is to benefit the Radford/Dublin/Pulaski area.

Here are some other notes and details:

  • The link below enables you to donate via credit card only (VISA, MC, AMEX, and Discover). If you prefer to make a donation by check or cash, click the "Donation Slip" button at the bottom of the page linked below.
  • All donations are tax deductible (by you, not me or as a charitable contribution.
  • My bail goal of $5,000 is very modest, and the TSL faithful should be able to donate much, much more than that. If every TSL reader donates just $10 ... holy smokes, that would be a lot of money.
  • For details on what your donation will be used for, see the "What Your Money Will Buy" button located at the link below. There are also links for "MDA Local Services" and the "MDA Website".

To donate by credit card: Click below.

Please contribute, even if it's a small amount -- individuals, consider donating $25 or more, and businesses, please consider donating $100 or more.

Last year, TSL was the top donor of the event, with $4,156 raised (as noted above). When I walk into jail on November 15th, I want it to be as the top donor in this lockup event for the second year in a row, and the money won't be donated in my name; it will be donated in the name of the community.

Thanks for your help!

Contribute to MDA Here Pass - Your Ultimate Ticket to Hokie Sports!

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For more info on TechSideline Pass, and to subscribe, click here. Updates From the Past Week

Durant a Strong Point Guard Recruit

November 16, 2007
New Hampton Prep (N.H.) guard Kendall Durant had official offers from Colorado, Penn State, South Carolina and Tulsa, but the loyalty he felt with the Virginia Tech coaching staff ultimately put the Hokies over the top. The 6-3, 185-pound prospect signed with the Hokies on Wednesday, several days after making an official visit to Blacksburg.

Walker Set to Make More Visits
November 16, 2007
Christchurch (VA) 4-star senior Deion Walker plans to make several more visits - at least one official and some unofficial - over the next month-and-a-half before he announces his college decision. The 6-3, 180-pound prospect knows when he will announce his decision, but first plans to narrow his list of schools.

Keys to the Game and Matchups to Watch: Miami
November 16, 2007
The Miami Hurricanes come to town for Senior Day without much more than pride at stake this year. The ACC division titles will be decided by the Boston College at Clemson and Virginia Tech at Virginia games, so the Miami game will have no impact on the standings; but Miami has become the Hokies' most heated rivalry from the Big East days, so I would still expect a big effort and hard-hitting game.

Davis Ready to Focus on Recruiting
November 15, 2007
With his football season now complete, Ocean Lakes (Virginia Beach, VA) star Marcus Davis is now ready to focus on making a college decision. The 6-5, 215-pound senior is hoping to make official visits in the near future and, following those visits, make a decision on where he will attend for the next four or five years.

More on Boykin's Commitment to Virginia Tech
November 15, 2007
Following an injury-plagued junior season, Butler (Matthews, N.C.) star receiver Jarrett Boykin needed a big-time senior season to draw in the major Division 1A offers. The 6-2, 190-pound receiver caught five receptions for 148 yards and a score in the 2007 season opener and has never looked back, continuing his quality play and ending up with 54 receptions for 1,082 yards during the regular season. And now, Boykin has accepted a scholarship at Virginia Tech.

Hokies to Sign Three for Men's Basketball
November 15, 2007
The early signing period for men's basketball began Wednesday, and though Seth Greenberg and his coaching staff have not made any announcements as of yet, the Hokies are expected to receive the signatures of three players for the 2008 recruiting class. These players will be freshmen at Virginia Tech next season. The Hokies will sign a true point guard, a power forward, and a true center.

TSL Audio: The Len Martez Show, 11/14/07
November 15, 2007
On Wednesday night's show, Chris Coleman and Len Martez went over the big win over FSU. They talked about Tyrod Taylor's performance, the improvement of the offensive line, and the great game the Hokie wide receivers had against the Seminoles. (WMA format, compatible with Windows Media Player and MP3 players, 3.2 MB, 13:40).

Football Game Preview: Virginia Tech vs. Miami
November 14, 2007
It's been quite awhile since Virginia Tech and Miami played a football game that was meaningless in conference play. However, that's how it is this year. Miami has been eliminated from contention in the Coastal Division, and the Virginia-Virginia Tech game on November 24 will decide who wins the division. Nevertheless, there is still plenty to play for.

Virginia Tech Lands Another Butler Standout
November 14, 2007
Virginia Tech has landed another talented wide receiver to its 2008 recruiting class. It has also landed another talented prospect out of Butler High School in Matthews, North Carolina. Virginia Tech received a verbal commitment from Bulldogs star wide receiver Jarrett Boykin last night, Butler head coach Mike Newsome confirmed today.

Tech Commits Enjoy FSU Experience
November 14, 2007
Smithfield (VA) wide receiver Dyrell Roberts and Butler (Matthews, N.C.) cornerback Eddie Whitley will square off against one another in practices next season. The two Virginia Tech commits look forward to that, but for now they are getting to know each other and seem to be getting along quite well. Roberts and Whitley were just two of many Virginia Tech commits on hand for last Saturday's victory over Florida State.

FSU Game Analysis: Taylor Surprises Seminoles
November 13, 2007
It had been quite awhile since Florida State was in Blacksburg. The Seminoles were in the middle of building one of college football's most powerful dynasties under Bobby Bowden while the Hokies were recovering from probation and just trying to build a competitive program under Frank Beamer. The ‘Noles were led by a QB named Peter Tom Willis, while the Hokies were led by a young lefty QB named Will Furrer. On that day, it was all FSU. The ‘Noles blocked two punts and Willis put up huge numbers in an easy 41-7 win over the Hokies.

Hokie Hotline Notes for 11/12/07
November 13, 2007
Presented by Pete Dye River Course of Virginia Tech: Monday night's guests were offensive coordinator Bryan Stinespring, athletic director Jim Weaver, and head football coach Frank Beamer. Stinespring and Beamer reviewed the FSU game and previewed Miami, and Weaver said something you might not expect from him about students rushing the field after the FSU game.

Barber Solidifies Situation with Virginia Tech
November 13, 2007
6-0, 200-pound Edison (Alexandria, VA) standout Ben Barber unofficially visited Virginia Tech this past Saturday for the win over Florida State. According to Edison head coach Vaughn Lewis, the senior wide receiver/defensive back recruit met with the Virginia Tech coaches and got everything straightened out with respect to his commitment to the Hokies.

Swindle to Commit to VT
November 12, 2007
Gulliver Prep (Miami, FL) center Gene Swindle made an official visit to Virginia Tech this past weekend. Tonight, the 6-11, 260-pound senior made his college decision, choosing Virginia Tech over offers from Penn State and South Florida.

Kickoff Time for Tech-UVA Game Set for Noon
November 12, 2007
On Monday afternoon, the ACC announced the game times and television coverage for games on Saturday, November 24. The Hokies will face in-state rival UVA in Charlottesville at noon, and the game will be televised by either ESPN or ESPN2.
Also: Virginia Tech's Tyrod Taylor and Jeff Allen earn Rookie of the Week honors in the ACC.

Monday Thoughts: Florida State
November 12, 2007
The more I look at stats, and the more I look at things like chemistry, leadership and discipline, the more I develop the opinion that the Hokies are dialing into the bullseye and are going to finish this season strong. The defense has been a rock (except for LSU and "the four minutes of which we shall not speak"), the offense is coming on very strong in terms of yards, plays, and time of possession, and the penalties are dropping. Amidst all this improvement, injured players are coming back in time for the Miami game.

Around the ACC: Week 11
November 12, 2007
After another week of ACC action, the picture is starting to clear up. Four teams are still in contention for the ACC Championship. Boston College and Clemson are still alive in the Atlantic Division, and they'll face each other this weekend. Virginia Tech and Virginia will play in two weeks for the Coastal Division crown. Basically, we'll have a 4-team playoff for the ACC Championship, with two semifinal games and then the ACC Championship Game in Jacksonville.

Injured Hokies Returning for Miami Game
November 12, 2007
The Hokies are a banged up football team, but it appears that they are about to get healthier. An injury report was released last night, and it looks like Tech will have some of their starters back for Senior Day against Miami.

4-Star Lawrence Set for VT Official Visit
November 12, 2007
Virginia Tech will be the first official visit destination for 6-1, 190-pound DB/WR T.J. Lawrence, a 4-star prospect out of Kathleen High School in Lakeland, Florida. One of the main reasons Virginia Tech remains in heavy contention with the talented prospect is the work of a former Kathleen product.

Taylor, Hokies Smash Florida State 40-21
November 11, 2007
Frank Beamer finally beat Bobby Bowden, and he did it in a big way. Led by true freshman quarterback Tyrod Taylor, #11 Virginia Tech dominated the fourth quarter and routed Florida State 40-21 in Lane Stadium on Saturday. The Hokies moved to 8-2 overall and 5-1 in the ACC with the win. Florida State dropped to 6-4 overall and 3-4 in ACC play.

Freshman Allen Leads Hokies to Win Over Elon
November 9, 2007
Highly-touted freshman Jeff Allen lived up to the hype in his college debut, leading the freshman-laden Tech team to a 69-64 victory over Elon on Friday night in Cassell Coliseum. The Hokies controlled the game the entire way, but could never put it away thanks to poor free throw shooting in the second half. Nevertheless, Tech is 1-0, and they'll have a nice break before playing in the Great Alaska Shootout beginning on November 22.
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